Faith Ringgold in New York, NY

I’ll start with an apology. I’ve seen a ton of art since my last post, and unfortunately there are not enough hours in the day to do what I want to do. I have a lot of catching up on blog posts of art that I need you to see.

I’m not one of those bloggers that shares much about my life, other than you know I love looking at art. I will share that my husband and I are empty nesters and finally decided to live part time in New York City, as our three kids are all nearby. We really like them, and needed to be closer to them and some dear friends. We had lived in the city, and right outside, for over 20 years prior to moving to Seattle. Seattle is far, and being in NYC is like coming home. The apartment above ours had a large water valve break, and when I’m not looking at art, or being a studio potter, I have been dealing with repairs. It’s almost done, so be warned, you are about to be overwhelmed. Remember, I only share art that I like. There is plenty I see that I don’t show you.

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Early Works #25, Self-Portrait, 1965
Oil on canvas
50 x 40 in

“Faith Ringgold: American People” is the most comprehensive exhibition to date of this groundbreaking artist’s vision, highlighted by the first full presentation of her historic French Collection in over twenty years along with many other quintessential works that will be exhibited together for the first time in decades. Featuring Ringgold’s best-known series, this show examines the artist’s figurative style as it evolved to meet the urgency of political and social change. The exhibition also foregrounds her radical explorations of gender and racial identities, which the artist incorporates into the rich textures of her paintings, soft sculptures, and story quilts. Among the most important artworks of the past fifty years, Ringgold’s fabric works combine local traditions and global references to compose a polyphonic history of this country. Long overdue, this retrospective provides a timely opportunity to experience the art of an American icon. (The New Museum)

Left: American People Series #16: Woman Looking in Mirror, 1966
Oil on canvas
36 x 32 in

Right: American People Series #5: Watching and Waiting, 1963
Oil on canvas
36 x 40 1/8 in
Left: American People Series #3: Neighbors, 1963
Oil on canvas
41 7/8 x 24 1/4 in

Right: American People Series #1: Between Friends, 1963
Oil on canvas
40 x 24 in
American People Series #20: Die, 1967
Oil on canvas, two panels
72 x 144 in
American People Series #18: The Flag is Bleeding, 1967
Oil on canvas
72 x 96 in
Slave Rape #3: Fight to Save Your Life, 1972
Oil on canvas, fabric
92 x 50 1/8 in
Feminist Series #12: We Meet the Monster, 1972
Acrylic on canvas, fabric
50 x 32 1/2 in
Feminist Series #14: Men of Eminence…, 1972/1993
Acrylic on canvas, fabric
48 x 30 in
Street Story Quilt, Parts I-III: The Accident, the Fire and the Homecoming, 1985 Cotton canvas, acrylic paint, ink, marker, dyed and printed cotton, and sequins, sewn to a cotton flannel backing
Overall 90 x 144 in
Detail

I need to go back and spend more time with Street Story Quilt, Parts I-III. It is phenomenal.

Echoes of Harlem, 1980
Printed and pieced fabrics and acrylic on cotton, canvas
89 1/2 x 80 1/2 in
Detail
The Bitter Nest: Part V: Homecoming, 1988
Acrylic on canvas with printed, dyed, and pieced fabric
76 x 96 in
Detail
Woman on a Bridge #1 of 5: Tar Beach, 1988
Acrylic paint, canvas, printed fabric, ink, and thread
74 5/8 x 68 1/2 in

I remember when the book Tar Beach came out in 1996. I read it to my kids, and it remains in my large children’s book collection. It was wonderful seeing some of these pieces in person.

“Ringgold recounts the dream adventure of eight-year-old Cassie Louise Lightfoot, who flies above her apartment-building rooftop, the ‘tar beach’ of the title, looking down on 1939 Harlem. Part autobiographical, part fictional, this allegorical tale sparkles with symbolic and historical references central to African-American culture.” (Amazon)

Two Jemimas: The American Collection #98, 1997
Acrylic on canvas with painted and pieced fabric
77 x 81 in

I have a wall in the above mentioned apartment in need of a large painting. This would look amazing on it. No wonder I cannot find art I like and can afford. I want a Faith Ringgold.

We Came to America: The American Collection #1, 1997
Acrylic on canvas with painted and pieced fabric
74 1/2 x 79 1/2 in
A Family Portrait: The American Collection #2, 1997
Acrylic on canvas with painted and pieced fabric
79 1/2 x 80 in
A portion of the top floor of the exhibition
Picasso’s Studio: The French Collection Part 1, #7, 1991
Acrylic on canvas, printed and tie-dyed pieced fabric, ink
73 x 68 in
Dinner at Gertrude Stein’s: The French Collection Part II, #9, 1991
Acrylic on canvas, printed and tie-dyed pieced fabric, ink
79 x 84 in
Dancing at the Louvre: The French Collection Part I, #1, 1991
Acrylic on canvas, printed and tie-dyed pieced fabric, ink
73 1/2 x 80 in

Faith Ringgold: AMERICAN PEOPLE is on three full floors of the New Museum. The exhibition runs through June 5, 2022, and I could not recommend it more highly. I will be going back more than once. It’s a wow! If you cannot get there, buy the catalog. It’s comprehensive and beautiful.

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